REVIEW: Pretty Face by Lucy Parker
NOTE Kaetrin and I both decided to read “Pretty Face” so it’s a twofer for today.
The play’s the fling
It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.
Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…
Dear Ms. Parker,
I’m joining the crowd in the stampede to read this book. Yes, I loved it and yes I’ve already speed bought the prequel as well as your other novel.
Their professional relationship starts off with much to be desired. He called her Helium Barbie plus has doubts that she can tie her own shoe laces and she wryly commented on how he nails the lost art of condescension while mentally calling him a dickhead. The way she looks at him makes Luc think she’d rather knee him in the balls than try and use her sex appeal to get a part. Once Luc sees other men acting like cartoon wolves around her though, he does clean up his act and goes all arctic on any man he catches treating her badly.
They might deny, deny, deny to themselves and everyone around them but the people they know and love the most – or work with a lot – know better and can see the “emoji hearts” in their eyes when they look at each other. Which is leading to some interesting interactions since one of these people is Luc’s recent fiancée. No worries with her since she and Luc platonically broke things off and Margo has since got whirlwind married. The relationship had gone on for eight years and ended in the engagement stage without more than a whimper. He immediately knows that Lily means far more to him by the kick in the guts he gets around her, or when something bothers or hurts her and how much he wants to leap to her defense and thrash the hurter. Said people they know best delight in taking the piss out of Luc and Lily at frequent intervals over this.
I am loving the snappy, smart dialog. I could slurp this up like heavy cream on fresh berries. Or a bag of crisps. Sweet and or salty are my downfalls. Lily might be younger and trying to break into West End shows but she doesn’t back down from Luc and gives as good as she gets. Big points that their individual angsts are there but not shoved in my face every five minutes. Luc and Lily are smart. They also have scads of personal and profession reasons not to get involved and they are aware of the issues that ought to be keeping them apart. They know them, they acknowledge them, they are important to them, they try to stick to them. So the inability to adhere to them in the face of the flaming mutual attraction stuns them as much as anyone else and means more to me than if the conflicts were petty or small. Ah, now the family has joined in matchmaking Luc and Lily even when Luc and Lily are still in the “oh, hells no” stage of denial – much to the family’s amusement and Lily and Luc’s chagrin.
Finally though, they reach the stage where “blind denial and ignoring the situation” is past and giving into their attraction is full on. Luc might be 40 to Lily’s 26 but he demonstrates that he’s not too old to heap mind numbing orgasms on her while pulling some impressive moves without throwing his back out.
Another thing that amused me is that Richard, from the previous book in the series, and Luc despise each other. It’s a nice change from sequential books featuring only characters who adore each other or are besties/family. This seems real life.
The conflict is germane and believable and not, thank God, about things which a five minute talk could sort out. The person to pull back surprised me as well as the clearly thought out and level headed reason why. They both know it’s love, though not voiced yet, but Lily’s got long standing trust issues courtesy of her parents. It hurts like hell nearly killing them both but some time is needed to work through things. The aftermath of the fireball that strikes Lily allows for her to finally come to terms with some things, release some past hurts and discover a few things as well. The in-ghastly-taste item that Luc gives her as an opening night prezzie also tells her truly how much he loves her.
The birthday gift in the epilogue is tops. Pun intended. Even though Lily’s bar was set pretty high with her 7th birthday trip to Disneyworld when she got a hug from Goofy and a cupcake with her name on it, Luc leaves that in the dust. I’d agree that multiple screaming orgasms in interesting positions beats that hands down. Oh and LOL about the choice of the order for their new hyphenated last names: Savage-Lampreys? Maybe not. A